Two Tuning Slides... Leigh Finished my Olds Ambassador

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Thevor, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. Thevor

    Thevor Pianissimo User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Next to the Volcano
    I've always tried to live on the edge, usually something jarring has to happen to bring me to my senses. In my rock climbing days, it wasn't until I took a 75 ft plunge and was looking straight down another 1000 verticle feet drop that I came to the conclusion that "maybe there was something safer". So what the hell, I free soloed Mt. Hood in Oregon for kicks.

    With that said, I think I am embarking on something nearly as crazy and just as fun. I have wanted and needed my 53' Olds Ambassador refurbished/rebuilt since I purchased it 6 months ago. After seeing some of the work that Leigh McKinney at Frist Class Brass has done, I knew that he was the one I wanted to do the work. So with a few emails I shipped my horn to the UK..... yikes, he got it today.

    While chatting on MSN messenger about the horn, the insane part of me took over, Leigh wanted to know exactly what to do with it (what did I want)..... even with the original price agreement, I threw caution (and price) out the door and said, "Do what ever you want" A long pause on MSN messenger ensued...... then the "reply", it seemed almost sinister and devious, "ANYTHING" and I reiterated that "anything goes" (except a rifle scope).

    Leigh if you want go ahead and post what that horn looks like now..... that would be okay.

    Oh the real catch, I don't want to know what the horn is going to look like until the box is opened by me..... pry Leigh if you want, but his lips are sealed.

    Gentlemen, this is going to be a fun ride...... hang on and I'll keep you posted.
  2. alanbach

    alanbach Pianissimo User

    Dec 10, 2003
    South Wales U.K.
    I can't wait to see it!! After having a Conn Director Coprion done by Leigh I bought the Eclipse Special Edition from him...he is now doing an Olds Recording for me. His work is 220!! (Second to none) I'm sure you will be more than pleased.
  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Woo hoo, George. Now that does introduce some interesting possibilities.

    Let's see...what could Leigh do if given free rein? I'm thinking maybe an Eclipse tuning system and continuous leadpipe...maybe spin a tone ring onto the bell? Do it up in "turn of the last century's" lacquer/nickel finish? Sheet metal bracing that says "O"? (Oshkosh, B'gosh). As I recall you said you weren't all that tall...perhaps he can convert it into an Equinox for you? Just so you can reach the pedals (oops...I mean valves) properly.

    Intertwining snakes all around the bell ring? Or just down the bell tube? Maybe with an apple at the end?

    (Fire-Farting Chicken on the bell flare?) Naaaa..... that's been done already. Besides, what with all this Mad Chicken disease it wouldn't be PC.

    Sorry George, you're just going to have to wait and see I guess! LOL.
  4. Thevor

    Thevor Pianissimo User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Next to the Volcano
    Dang toots, I'm not sure I should allow you to be posting about my horn, I think your influences could be dangerous...... "fire farting chicken", where'd you come up with that? :lol:

    But you can see the fun its going to be, giving Leigh free reign of my horn..... just hope that when I get it back Leigh doesn't say "I always wanted to build a slide trumpet!"

    If this works out then I'll be sending Leigh my son's pro quality Bach knockoff for an Eclipse conversion. It's a good horn but it would be nice to bring it up to a real pro quality standard.
  5. Sol

    Sol Pianissimo User

    Jan 25, 2004
    Thevor, I am curious. What were your original plans that you had with the Ambassador?
  6. Thevor

    Thevor Pianissimo User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Next to the Volcano

    Simply to have the horn cleaned, dents taken out and refinished (hadn't really decided on a finish yet) and replace the lead pipe..... one thing, it was not going to be a restoration.

  7. Seinman

    Seinman New Friend

    Nov 9, 2003
    Derby, UK
    Well, I get all my horns refurbished by Leigh. I have 10 waiting at the moment! His work is incredible. I am privileged to have made his acquaintance and respect him enormously. He is a gentleman to deal with, quite refreshing. I think he has done one Ambassador for me which was amazing. He recently did this Courtois EVO II for me, which had the horrible green Courtois Paint/Lacquer on it and had some damage. Look what he came up with:


    Impressive huh? Last year he also resurrected a 1947 Olds Special that now looks absolutely stunning!

    Maybe he will allow me to sneak a peak when I am down there next. PLEASE!!!!
  8. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA
    I've got a 1959 OLDS Recording that I plan to get Leigh to refurbish later also. But I want that one back in as nearly new condition as I can get it. After that I've got a 1957 vintage Olds Super and a 1935 sterling silver bell King Liberty model for him to look at. If I decide to let him be creative with his imagination, I'll let him have a crack at my practically new French Besson. It would probably look really nice with a gold finish. But I'd have to sell a couple of the other horns to pay for all the repair work. I probably won't be playing them much in a few weeks any way.

    What's this Eclipse conversion stuff? Can Leigh turn any horn into one with a rear tuning slide?
  9. eclipse trumpets

    eclipse trumpets Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Hi Jessie

    Regarding the conversion question!! Yes we do and have done conversions to an Eclipse desidn on quite a few horns already.


    Next one awaiting the conversion is a WT

    Then i just had the go ahead today to convert someones Zues also.

    The conversions are becoming very popular and work very nicely, but do take some time as not all horns are the same of course.

    If you want any further info please feel free to contact me via email orPM



    PS Jessie i see that youve put 3 weeks , but with what we have discussed very recently if it can be done? the time would be put back 1 more week if that is ok.
  10. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA

    Thanks for the reply above, and take as much time as you need on the horn. A week or two isn't going to make any difference at all. I just appreciate what you're doing for me.


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